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The Aerfugl (Ærfugl) oil and gas field is located approximately 210km west of Sandnessjøen, in Production License 212 in the Norwegian North Sea. The field lies to the west of the Skarv field and is being developed in two phases, along with the Snadd Outer field.
The Ærfugl field is jointly owned by Aker BP (23.835%, operator), Equinor Energy (36.165%), Wintershall DEA Norge (28.0825%) and PGNiG Upstream Norway (11.9175%), while the Snadd Outer field is owned by Aker BP (30%), Equinor Energy (30%), Wintershall DEA Norge (25%) and PGNiG Upstream Norway (15%).
The project is estimated to require an investment of NOK8.5bn ($1.1bn), of which the first phase is expected to involve NOK4.5bn ($575m) and the second phase will require NOK4bn ($511m).
The plan for the development and operation (PDO) of the field was submitted to the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in December 2017 and was approved in April 2018. First production from the phase one of the project is expected in November 2020, while phase two will come on stream in 2023.
The Ærfugl field development is expected to increase the field life and the hydrocarbons recovery rate of Skarv.
Geology and reserves of Ærfugl and Snadd Outer fields
The Ærfugl field lies in the Skarv Unit, while the Snadd Outer field lies north of the Ærfugl field in the PL212E license.
The Ærfugl/Snadd reserve accumulation comprises a large layer of gas located in the Cretaceous sandstone of the Lysing formation. The Ærfugl field reservoir, including the Snadd Outer field, is approximately 60km-long, while the width ranges between 2km and 3km.
The Ærfugl field is estimated to contain 35 billion standard cubic metres (Sm³) of gas.
Discovery and appraisal of Aerfugl fields
Ærfugl was discovered with the drilling of the 6507/5-3 wildcat well by the West Navion drillship. The well was spudded in May 2000 to a total depth of 3,000m and encountered a reservoir section of 55.2m in the Cretaceous Lange Formation.
Ærfugl was appraised by the 6507/5-6 S well drilled by the Borgland Dolphin drilling rig. The well was spudded in January 2010 to prove gas in the Late Cretaceous reservoir.
The well encountered high-quality hydrocarbon-bearing sandstones in the Late Cretaceous reservoir at a depth of 4,676m.
Details of Ærfugl field development
Phase one of the development focuses on the southern part of the Ærfugl field, while phase two will focus on the northern part and the Snadd Outer field.
Three new production wells will be drilled and the existing A-1 H well will be converted into a producer in the phase one development of the field. The wells will be tied-back to the existing Skarv FPSO production vessel on the Skarv field, using a 20.3km-long pipe-in-pipe flowline. Electrically heat-traced flowline (EHTF) technology will be used for the flowline.
Phase two of the development will include the drilling of two production wells in the northern part of the Ærfugl field and one in the Snadd Outer field. Production from the three wells will also be tied-back to the Skarv FPSO situated at a distance of 13.5km, using EHTF technology.
The field development also includes a subsea production system, comprising wellheads, subsea trees, a tie-in module, pipeline end terminations, inline tees, power inlet structures, glass-reinforced plastic covers, power and service umbilical systems, umbilical riser base, six-inch and 10-in flexible jumpers, seven inch vertical X-mas trees, satellite structures, seabed intervention, and control systems. Vectus™, a next-generation subsea control system, will be deployed for the project.
The hydrocarbons from both phases will be transported to the Skarv FPSO for processing. Subsequently, the oil will be loaded to shuttle tankers and the gas will be piped to Kårstø terminal through 80km-long pipeline. The Kårstø terminal is further connected to Åsgard Transport System.
Benefits of new technologies in the Ærfugl field development
The use of EHTF pipe-in-pipe technology will reduce the gas hydration risk during transportation to the Skarv FPSO, which will be located 21km away from the production wells.
The world’s first seven-inch vertical Christmas trees will control the high flowrates in the field.
Aker Solutions was contracted to supply the subsea system for the Ærfugl field development.
The construction works for the subsea system will be carried out at Aker Solutions facilities in Norway, Malaysia and the UK.
Subsea 7 was awarded the engineering, procurement, construction and installation contract for the subsea umbilical riser flowline of the project. The project management and engineering works will be carried out at Subsea 7’s offices in Stavanger, Norway, while fabrication will be performed at the company’s spoolbase in Vigra, Norway.
Odfjell Drilling provided Deepsea Stavanger, a semi-submersible mobile drilling facility for drilling production wells.
Other contractors include MarinePoland and GeologiQ.
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